We are celebrating both Mother’s Day and Nurses Week by highlighting the woman behind one of our favorite Instagram accounts – Courtney, DNP. She shares her advice for new parents and the emotions she has been feeling leading up to her first Mother’s Day.
Profession: Founder of @NursesofInstagram and a new DNP practicing in Rhode Island.
This is your first Mother’s Day as a mom – how does it feel?
When I sit and realize that I am a “mother,” I still can’t believe it. I think of all of the sacrifices a woman makes for her child, the immense amount of love I never knew was possible, and the thought of my son being my first child. It brings tears to my eyes.
Tell us a little about your son.
Leonardo is my 9 month old son (insert 5 minute break here while I cry because sometimes it still hits me that I’m actually a mom). He is a petite little boy with light golden brown hair and hazel eyes and smiles with two bottom front teeth. He often looks very serious- my mom says I was the same way- but show him a funny face and he will laugh in an instant. The best part…he’s a momma’s boy.
How has being a mother changed your life?
Being a mother has made me realize what being selfless truly means. I am no longer a priority, as a matter of fact, I barely matter most of the time. I have learned how to function on 2 hours of sleep in 72 hours, 1 microwaveable meal in 24 hours, and 1 cup of coffee that has been reheated 6 times. I no longer focus on negative situations or indulge in others’ lives that do not matter to me, because my life with my baby is where all of my energy should be focused. I have become more proud of myself as a woman, going through labor, breastfeeding, raising my son. I never thought I had all of this in me.
What is your advice for new parents who are nurses?
My best advice for new parents who are nurses is to manage a work-life balance and ALWAYS put family FIRST.
What has been an adventure of motherhood that you were not prepared for?
One is neverrrrrrrr prepared for breastfeeding for the first time. I thought breastfeeding would be “natural,” something effortless and easy. All the celebrities do it, it’s glamorized and NOTHING like that. For me, it was ten times harder than labor and the biggest challenge I’ve faced. I never regretted it once, and I am proud of myself still going 9 months later, but boy has it been hard!
In the spirit of Nurses Week and our #NurseToNurse campaign, what is the best piece of advice you have received from another nurse?
The best piece of advice I’ve received from another nurse is not to allow the job to make you bitter. Nursing can be tough, draining, and overwhelming. But it’s all in how you perceive the experiences. If you start to realize you are unhappy where you are, move on. This is why nursing is so great, the possibilities of opportunities are endless.